Snake Catcher Shares Photo of Unsuspecting Children Walking Inches from Highly Venomous Eastern Brown Snake

An Australian wildlife expert is urging residents to respect the reptiles after sharing a photo of a high-venomous snake slithering beside two unsuspecting children.

The stunning image, taken by the children's mother, shows the kids walking down a road in the town of Eskdale, close to the Mitta Mitta River in Victoria. In the snap, a snake can be seen just inches from one of the children's feet. It was largely camouflaged by the dirt track.

The image was uploaded to social media yesterday by veteran handler Barry Goldsmith, who runs a local business called Snake Catcher Victoria, Yahoo News Australia reported.

"No-one saw the large Eastern Brown snake until they looked at the pics later," he wrote on Facebook.

"The snake saw them coming and watched as they unknowingly skipped past. Really goes to show snakes are not aggressive and just need respect."

Goldsmith told Yahoo News he has never seen a snake chase after a human, and urged all citizens who encounter them in the wild to avoid killing them.

The catcher claimed the snake appeared unalarmed and "pulled back and got out of the kids' way." He added on Facebook: "Please be careful, take care this summer, and be nice to snakes."

Still, there is little doubt a bite from the species could prove to be perilous.

Wildlife Victoria, the region's protection and rescue service, explains in an online fact sheet that Eastern Browns "should be regarded as highly venomous and dangerous to humans."

"Snakes normally avoid people, but if they feel threatened, disturbed or surprised, they are more likely to attack. If provoked or cornered, Brown Snakes can be extremely aggressive. They have lean muscular bodies enabling them to strike fast moving prey, coiling around it until it dies. Once their prey has died, Brown Snakes will consume it whole."

The species, which detects prey by sensing movement and smelling, lives in dry areas of Australia including Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and south-eastern South Australia.

Goldsmith's social media post attracted hundreds of comments and shares this week, with many users sharing their own photos and personal stories about close encounters in response.

Earlier this month, another Australian snake catcher said he feared the worst after being bitten on the armpit by a tiger snake. Jamie Lind, also of Victoria, said he had been caught off guard by the reptile he was while attempting to remove it from a remote property in Ararat.

As previously reported, he told radio station 3AW he contacted his loved ones to say goodbye because he believed he may die from the results of the animal's venom. He was rushed to hospital and is now in recovery. "I love the animals," Lind told host Tom Elliott. "They are not an aggressive animal at all unless you go near them. That's what I would like to put across."

Brown Snake
File photo: Brown Snake. An Australian wildlife expert who is urging residents to respect the reptiles has shared a photo of a high-venomous snake close to two unsuspecting children. iStock